Churches do not spontaneously combust when racists are angry and feeling threatened about their white supremacy, so I think we can safely say this didn't happen by itself. The Greeleyville AME church marks the seventh African-American church burning in the South since nine people in Charleston were shot for being Black.
Flames engulfed a prominent African-American church Tuesday night that was already destroyed once by a blaze ignited by the KKK in 1995.
Mount Zion AME Church is the seventh black church to burn across the South in the wake of the killing of nine worshipers at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church and Gov. Nikki Haley’s subsequent call to bring down the Confederate flag.
State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel said several agents responded to the fire and that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other federal agencies were notified. The cause was not immediately known Tuesday night.
Cezar McKnight, D-Kingstree, watched as heavy smoke billowed from the church and bright orange flames shot into the air.
“It’s gone,” he said. “They don’t know the cause yet, but I am hoping for the best.
“South Carolina has been through a lot the last two weeks and we’ve made the best of a terrible situation. I would hate for this to be something somebody did on purpose to try to poison the love and fellowship.”
Keel said that a fire investigation likely couldn’t begin until the blaze was extinguished, which was not the case at 10 p.m.
The fire was under control by 11 p.m., according to Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office investigator Alex Edwards. He late Tuesday said that it began about 8:30 p.m. and it was unknown if foul play was suspected.
A storm blew through the area just before the fire, Keel said, speculating that lightning could have ignited it, but adding that he did not know for sure. He said recent events, however, were cause for concern.
“Certainly, I think we all are concerned about those things,” he said.
It wasn't lightning. At least, not the atmospheric kind. I'm willing to bet the house on that. Lightning only strikes twice in the form of racists wanting to exert their supremacy.